The week that was…July 11 – 15, 2016
Perth, Weekend 16-17th July 2016
His Majesty’s Theatre.
This was the week of His Majesty’s Theatre. While I did engage in some other project and lighting related activities, this week was pretty much all about HMT, from the moment I landed back in Perth on Monday. With the “grand opening” scheduled for Thursday, we still had a few “loose ends” to tie up.
The final tune-up
First up on Monday, nearly straight on from the airport, was the final adjustment of the column floodlights. We had done the aiming during my last trip but that was done with the scaffolding still up. That had obscured the street view a bit and parts of the scaffolding had also restricted access and aiming of some of the floodlights. With the scaffolding down it became obvious that the light throw of the column floodlights were not fully aligned needing a final adjustment. While it maybe something that the general public may not notice, it was very obvious to us and not taking action to adjust would have bothered us for ever. The Theatre gracefully lend us their stage cherry picker (why do they call them that way…?) allowing us to reach the floodlights mounted on the awning from the pavement below. The actual adjustment just took a few minutes, but maneuvering the machine around was tedious and time consuming. Adjusting the 20 odd floodlights took us more than 3 hours. On top of that we were facing one of the coldest nights in Perth, not ideal for having to adjust floodlights with your bare hands! Thanks Gary!
The Media preview.
The next day was set aside for an exclusive preview for the local TV (Channel 7) and main newspaper (The West Australian). This was done to avoid any issues and unpredictable miss-happenings on the night and assure there was proper time to record and shoot video’s and pictures of the façade lighting. We ran the “countdown” sequence for the TV crew and showed the variety of colour options that are pre-programmed for various future occasions. Since the unveiling of the façade was to coincide with the season opening of the opera “the Elixir of Love”, in celebration of 50 years of the Western Australian Opera, the photo/ video shoots also included taking shots with some of the opera lead singers against the back drop of the illuminated building façade. We were at hand to make sure the lighting was properly up and running…
After five years in the making the big day finally arrived. It’s not often that the unveiling of one of my projects is a public media event, let alone a “black tie” event! The proceedings led us across the road where we witnessed the countdown of the façade lighting, followed by the “ooohs” and “aaahs” and applause. Hugs and congratulations amongst the team and all involved for a mission well accomplished. Away from us inside the theatre, a Channel 7 news reporter streamed the news live to the station, but the countdown showed on TV was a shorted version of the re-recorded shoot earlier in the week. We then moved to a cocktail party inside the Theatre, where the minister of Health, Culture and the Arts, Mr John Day, officially inaugurated the new façade lighting and commended all that had been involved in realising what he called a great new attraction to the Perth city centre. The crowd amongst which the west Australian Governor and many of Perth’s socialites then adjourned to the theatre to enjoy the opening night of the Elixir of Love, a humourful opera about a farmer’s attempt to win the love of the woman he desires so much…The opera was in Italian, but had some hilarious “Aussie” translations…strike me pink!
The media aftermath.
With today’s social media craze, the opening was tweeted “life” by many and the next morning the newspaper report the event in its morning edition and on it’s online website. The government issued a media statement as well praising all involved for a job well done. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter posts flowed in the aftermath. The world of reporting has changed, but as of today so has His Majesty’s Theatre…Thanks to all that have been involved. It has been a great team work and every one of the team has been essential to the ultimate success; The Perth Theatre Trust, His Majesty’s management team, Heritage Perth, IGuzzini and Mondoluce, Tech Works, Griffiths Architect, ETC and of course my own KLD team.
Have a great weekend.